EPA Moves Forward with GHG Regulations for Power Plants

The Obama administration on Nov. 8 posted a notice on the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) website that indicates the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has filed a copy of proposed rules to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new, modified, and existing power plants.

The EPA sent the regulations governing Greenhouse Gas New Source Performance Standard for Electric Generating Units to the OMB, as is consistent with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA (2007), the landmark ruling that included GHGs within the Clean Air Act’s definition of air pollutants, said EPA spokesperson Betsaida Alcantara in a statement.

“EPA will work with OMB throughout the interagency review process and will issue the proposal when this review is complete,” she said. “EPA has engaged in an extensive and open public process to gather the latest and best information. The agency is fully considering this input as it develops smart, cost-effective and protective standards.”

The agency will be soliciting additional comment and information at the time that it proposes the new source rule and will take that input fully into account as it completes its process for this rule, she added.

The EPA had missed a court-imposed deadline to propose the rules by July 26, 2011, to more thoroughly review public comment on draft rules. In September, just weeks before its self-imposed deadline of Sept. 30, 2011, the EPA again deferred the proposal, not specifying a new date.

The agency had been expected to finalize the rule by May 26, 2012, as required by a December 2010 settlement agreement between the agency, several states, and environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and the Environmental Defense Fund.

The review by the OMB could take up to 90 days.

—Sonal Patel is POWER’s senior writer. This content first appeared in POWERnews.

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